“‘Rhythm of Complacency’ is all about changing or leaving the things you’ve grown so comfortable with – one or the other has to happen if you ever want to escape monotony.”
Swim Thru Frequencies from Fort Collins Colorado, USA, has released their first full length album ‘Rhythm of Complacency’. Their sound and musical influences are unique and span genres ranging from folk to rock, indie to alternative. I got a chance to listen to their introspective and reflective music and ask them a few questions. Get ready to let them take you on a visual poetic escape from reality...
50K MUSIC: How did you all meet?
Swim Thru Frequencies: Clay and I (Ryan) met through a mutual friend, Tyler Lindgren, who actually helped produce and engineer our album ‘Rhythm of Complacency’. We started auditioning female vocalists when our friend, Justin Charboneau, introduced us to Melody, and we just fell in love with her voice. I’ve known Johnny, our keyboardist, since the third grade (we grew up playing hockey together), and Clay went to high school with him. Our newest addition, our drummer Nate, was a friend of Johnny’s and was brought on once our former drummer moved back to Texas (guess he hates the snow). It’s definitely been a collective thing to make this project work. We’ve gone through a number of members, but we feel like we finally have “our” sound. It’s long overdue, but we’re all excited to be moving forward.
Jana G. has funded her first EP "I Am Jana" with the support of Sellaband believers. A few days ago she released her second EP "Mixed Signals" greatly reviewed by Rick Calhoun. Now I talked to Jana ...
50K MUSIC: First please tell us something about yourself: Who is Jana G.? Where do you come from? What are your (musical) roots?
Jana: There is no right or wrong way to be an artist. I'm not shy about being shy. I come from the Northwest side of Chicago, IL. I was influenced by grunge early on. When I listened to it, the electric guitar made the song. And when I watched it, the guitarist made the song. I saw passion, excitement, and energy. I was drawn to that, so I started taking guitar lessons. It wasn't until I was introduced to pop punk, that I started writing songs and singing. Music is a way for me to have a conversation, tell a story. I love being on stage. As I became a stronger vocalist, I was drawn to female singers with unique and interesting voices. This exposed me to more genres, including pop, synthpop, dance, and R&B. I draw from all of my influences.
He has a beautiful sense of humor, an amazing throaty voice and a real bunch of talent: John Allen could just be the nice guy next door – or one of the heartiest songwriters you heard during the last decade. In our Q&A he talks about how it feels to reach 90% of a crowdfunding target in 20% of the time and – exclusively for 50K MUSIC – he reveals the title of his second album.
50K MUSIC: Where are you right now?
John: Right now I am in Krefeld. We've played a show at the KulTube in Moenchengladbach last night and went to stay with friends in Krefeld who were nice enough to offer us a place to sleep!
50K MUSIC: How is your tour going so far?
John: The tour is going very well, really. We're playing a mixture of bars, small clubs and house shows: For our house shows in Hamburg and Koblenz about 60 people turned up, which is quite a lot to fit into a living room. The show at Schokoladen in Berlin was also epic.
Exactly one week from today Oskar Schuster is going to release his crowdfunded new album "Sneeuwland". Almost 150 believers supported the album project on Sellaband. I talked to Oskar about his music and what it means to him to be a DIY musician ...
50K MUSIC: You're about to release your second album „Sneeuwland“ on March 21st. I would refer to this release as a milestone of a project which began in July 2012 with the start of your crowdfunding campaign on Sellaband. How do you look at it?
Oskar: Yes, it began with the start of my crowdfunding campaign. I released a demo recording of a new song called "Sneeuwland" as background music to my Crowdfunding Promo Video. Unexpectedly, that demo recording became quite successful in the following months. It was my first track that used the combination of multiple layered piano tracks and a beat consisting of noises from typewriters and old cameras I had randomly recorded. For the album, I tried to evolve that sound. I worked a lot on it during two years and now finally everything is finished and I'm happy I can thank all the people who supported my crowdfunding campaign by giving them my new album.
50K MUSIC: You've played most of the instruments on the album, you've produced the album yourself, you've created the artwork … Simply put, you've done most of the work for the album yourself. Would you call yourself a perfectionist?
Oskar: With the crowdfunding money I could afford to work with a great audio engineer, Thomas von Pescatore, who helped with the mixing and did the mastering. But it's true that I did nearly everything on my own otherwise. It's easier for me because I only have to rely on myself and not on other people.
Australia’s sleepmakeswaves are a band that has always strived for independence with their music. The instrumental post rock band, based out of Sydney, has gone as far as releasing music for free in order to spread the word. In many ways, it paid dividends for them when the time came to release their first full-length ... "And So We Destroyed Everything" in 2011 and having the opportunity to tour different continents.
“As result of that we’ve kind of racked up some debts,” says Alex Wilson (bass and electronics) on the band’s decision to crowdfund their next album.
“We arrived at a financial position where we thought that ok, we’re faced with a choice here. We can scrimp and save for another two or three years in order to try and deliver a record of the quality that we want and that people have come to expect, or we can try this alternative method of doing things.”
After some research into campaigns that worked and ones that didn’t, sleepmakeswaves styled and planned out their campaign, which is hosted on Australian platform Pozible, and arrived at a figure of $25,000 AUS (roughly € 16,500), an admittedly hefty figure but one tasked at recording and capturing the band’s equally hefty and soaring sound, all the while the band has peppered the campaign with a slew of incentives for fans.
50K MUSIC: It's been a while since we've talked last time :-). How has the world been treating you since then?
Lee-Leet: Yes, time flies. We talked back in 2012 just before my European Tour that started in November and took a great deal of my time in between. There were other things along the way as well. Last summer I released a new single in Polish “Przestaję się bać” (“I Cease to Fear”) and produced a music video to go with the song. You can watch it on my You Tube Channel. It is a lighter and carefree song with a touch of thoughtfulness. The props in the video like the red dress, smoke, school gym, red sneakers, street pavement, and a sound proof claustrophobic cabin are meant to show two dimensions of internal experience: the troubled world of the imagination and the real, carefree world where the demons disappear. I hope I managed to get this message across :-). For me it was a very personal and an experimental video and I wanted to shoot it myself except for a few scenes outside where I asked my friend for help in operating the camera. See if you like it and make comments, please!
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